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How To Write & Illustrate Children’s Books 📚

How To Write & Illustrate Children’s Books 📚

Jen: hi guys, i’m right here in these days with lovely Katie. Katie Harnett. We are slowly morphing into the equal character… I consider distinctive we weremorphing into Luna. Katie: sure. Jen: She is our kind icon now. Jen: last 12 months Katie and that i made a videotalking about how we met and how we started working together on ourchildren’s books so i will hyperlink that video up here and down under so in case you wouldlike to listen to in regards to the origins of Franklin and Luna that you could go over there, but todaywe’re going to converse about this ebook here which is Franklin and Luna Go to the Moon.Would not it feel goodbye ago? Katie: yes! A long time in the past. I was once fascinated by ityesterday, interested by what we would say and i couldn’t consider something. Jen: yes, what even is that this? [laughter] Jen: So, this is the sequel to Franklin’s Flying Bookshopwhich is called Franklin and Luna go to the moon and it got here out in September oflast year, September 2018, and the cause I say it feels a very long time in the past for us isbecause we’re presently working on the third one for the reason that image books… Theytake a very long time to make and then a long time with the writer, as good as doing lotsof special things [at the same time] which we’re truly going to talk about in these days. We’re veryproud of this this book little one. We like, we like it it very a lot.So, as I said, it can be the sequel and we’re going to speak about theprocess of creating it on account that you sent in some questions for us, about this bookspecifically but additionally about writing and illustrating most likely.So, the firstquestion used to be how exceptional was writing this publication and illustrating this book in comparison tothe first one? What had been the satisfactory and worst bits of the approach?Do you wish to have to move first? Katie: I consider it was quite extra collaborative um becausethe first guide it used to be all form of… You had written it and then I came aboard Jen: Yep Katie: And there have been some alterations but i guess we did not be aware of every other as good,whereas this one we labored more as a group which used to be fairly fine. Jen: We like we each and every different. Katie: We bought to like each enhance the snap shots and the story on the identical timewhich used to be fairly satisfactory.The worst part is invariably that i don’t consider I’ve gotenough time. I need to preserve working on the whole lot except it can be absolutelyperfect which is certainly not going to be you simply need to do unless it’sfinished, in any other case it will certainly not get performed. Jen: yes. As Katie stated this was once special given that we already knew every other. Ithink by collaboratively I feel we egg every different on,we want to see what the opposite person is as much as but we don’t interfere on every other,i do not suppose, Katie: No.Jen: We let each and every other do our possess factor given that we don’twant to intervene too much and we trust every other, which is best, so itwas extra collaborative in the sense that we have been competent to be there for each and every other.The toughest phase for me is, I believe, pacing and plot. That’s the hardest partbecause i understand how many pages the guide needs to be and i already knew the outline of thebook considering the fact that I sincerely wrote a top level view for 3 Franklin books before we signedwith that publisher; the the tricky bit is making an attempt to fit the whole lot in andmaking sure that nothing is rushed making sure that the beats are all inthe proper position, so that is the complex bit for me and [after that] I get to have enjoyable withit.It then will get trickier in a while after we, which I suppose we’re gonna talkabout in yet another query, however once we must come together with the text andthe illustration and we have to determine if something wants to vary once thosetwo matters have come together. I suppose my favourite phase to write was the list thatI concept you weren’t going to like well, not that I suggestion Katiewasn’t going to find it irresistible, however it’s simply it can be elaborate [to illustrate]. So, on this e-book Franklin and Lunaare going on an journey trying to find Franklin’s household and this can be a doublepage spread i will do a cutaway in an effort to see it of the persons that they findon their journey looking for Franklin’s loved ones.So "on their journeythey find twenty yetis eating spaghetti, 5 vampires studying Shakespeare, two giantsplaying chess and poltergeists in fancy costume. Elves playing volleyball, nymphs withskipping ropes, tiny pixies throwing frisbees below microscopes. Teeth fairiesin ice cream vans, witches baking cherry pie, disco dancing unicorns on rollerskates, oh my!" i love what Katie did right here with the speech bubbles especiallythis: "My kingdom for a dragon!" it’s my favourite; it can be my fave. Ok, so what wasyour favorite unfold? Katie: So my favorite was most commonly the moon dragons, sure, it wasreally pleasant to have a totally unique color scheme tothink about. I consider Idid the one the place they land on the moon three or four distinct times and that i sentit to Thames and Hudson mmm pronouncing "i don’t suppose it can be quite working" hoping they’dbe like "it can be ultimate!" to me but as an alternative they mentioned: "Yeah, it can be now not excellent" [laughter] Jen: So the third query is how didyou opt for the plot? So, in the first e-book it does have a plot but it surely alsodoes hooked up the scene, so Franklin lives on earth; we assume, from the first ebook, that he’s always lived on this planet and he wishes to share books with as many men and women as hecan considering that he loves reading, but the locals are scared of him.Then at some point he meetsLuna who’s a girl who loves books; she’s read about dragons in books so she’snot frightened of him and together they make a decision to hatch a plan to use reading tospread empathy and take a book place to the people! Sure, in order that was the primary one.So the second one I desired to have… No longer that the primary one isn’t fun however I wanted tohave more enjoyable… Katie: An journey. Jen: An journey, precisely. We’ve headquartered who they’re and now they can go on an journey.So, they go on an adventure to findFranklin’s loved ones and it is also about books and escapism throughbooks on account that their need to explore is fuelled with the aid of their love of books andthe adventures that they’ve read about. So, quantity 4: do the 2 of you adaptyour writing and drawing with a view to make a story that integratesseamlessly? Katie: Seamlessly [laughter] Jen: Slick. [laughter] Yeah, we do. I have to think of an instance, although we do it. Katie: We talked about this before. There are things such as none of thecharacters are physically described apart from the Luna so it gives me alot of scope to attract things that don’t seem to be acknowledged in the textual content. Jen: Yeah, and that i canmake requests for matters to be in the illustration that are not in the text.So, in the first one, i might requested if probably the most villagers might be a younger boy in a wheelchair. So, yeah, there’s beenthat after which, and i suppose that is the place the collaboration bit is available in… Sohow it really works is I write the text and then we come into the Thames and Hudsonoffice and we speak about illustrations and so Katie will do some difficult layoutsof things and we are able to talk about them and i asked…Let me find the web page wherethey go into area… If the textual content would be this way, in order that the e-book has to beturned, so "they rocket into house" in order that that movement reflects the movement thatthey’re doing since I suggestion would that be relatively enjoyable. However then which you can alsoadd in matters into the illustration that we will eliminate from the text considering the fact that itwill work better in illustration structure. Katie: sure, so in the first ebook whereFranklin’s long gone to the village, you can not see any individual there however we can see thatthere are villagers there, however it’s no longer mentioned in the text, so it can be form ofhelping the story along and i admire that.Jen: i love that; that used to be my favorite kind of bookas a child the place you would spot matters that weren’t in the text. Once we did thebeginning of book two there was once a different unfold that I had to reduce which waslinking up the primary e-book and the 2nd publication, saying that all of the villagers andFranklin at the moment are part of a ebook membership and so they meet a week and so they learn a booktogether however it did not finally drive the plot and we desired each books to beaccessible to persons who hadn’t learn the other one, so sufficient linking that it makesense to, but not ample to confuse you if you have not. Sowe decided to do away with that spread. So, rather, once we had the illustration meetings wecame up with the idea to have photos in the background, which you cannot see, i’ll do a close up.Snap shots within the history of the primary spread toshow Franklin and Luna interacting with the villagers that we met in the firstbook to exhibit that they nonetheless have a bond and they feel like they’re associates and stuff. Katie: after which in the subsequent spread they are all there, too, with their books. Jen: yes, nevertheless it doesn’t say it can be a booklet membership within the textual content any further. Jen: ok, that is rather outsideof the booklet for query number six what number of initiatives do you each work on even as? Andthe longer query this was once a part of this used to be how many other initiatives were you engaged on whilst youwere doing both of these matters? Katie: So essentially the most I’ve done at the same time isprobably three which i’d no longer propose. I consider… Jen: It appears like you might be you havingflashbacks Katie: The perfect could be to simply do the image books one after the other and maybelike have something else to dip into if you wanted a wreck from that like maybetwo is k or one snapshot booklet or anything else however I was once doing…Finishone photograph booklet, doing Franklin and performing some black and white work which all sortof overlapped and up wasn’t perfect. Plus the other venture used to be also dragons whichwas just particularly dragon heavy. Jen: I mean dragons are excellent but you cannot have toomuch dragon. I believe also it’s problematic considering that we work with differentpublishers so they aren’t mindful of each other’s schedule, and that i believe if it used to be…If it was once the identical writer there can be more figuring out there.It is tricky looking to stability the whole lot. Katie: Yeah, and cut-off dates inevitablyslide however yeah I particularly like having a couple of thing considering that then if youget stuck on anything you could transfer on to some thing else but yeah…However you’realways doing hundreds of thousands of factor. Jen: sure, but i don’t endorse that both [laughter]. No, but, as you said, i like doing distinct matters considering you canweave between them whilst you’ve received intellectual exhaustion on onething. And i admire having children’s books and grown up books onthe go due to the fact that those are so one-of-a-kind and the rest of the question that Iforgot to jot down down was: how long does it take to do one book? From startto finish? That used to be some of the questions. It can be rough [to work out] when you consider that absolutely we’renot working on it all of the time throughout that interval however it maintains coming back;we will put up some thing after which feedback will come again and then we have to redothings.Let’s, because it’s less difficult to think about this, let’s work it out for the one that we’re currentlydoing seeing that or else my mind does not work. Good enough, so I wrote Franklin and Luna in theBook of Fairy stories…. No, i’ll go earlier than that: I pitched Franklin and Luna in theBook of Fairytales in September 2017 I believe that was once when we signed a contractfor it agreeing that we would do a third one.We might normally meant to do a 3rd one however we did not have a distinctive contractfor it so we have now negotiated a contract and signed for itin September 2017 then I needed to deliver the text with the aid of March 2018, in order that used to be sixmonths of writing but not writing it all the time, doing different initiatives atthe identical time and you then did roughs by means of the summer time, I suppose Katie: something like that.Jen: Then Katie did final illustrations by using January 2019, yeah, and then it can be comingout September 2019, so all in all, that’s two years. Yes a long time. So, two years and inside that two-12 months period I publish the first draftof the text then we now have a dialog about itKatie will do roughs then we’ll have a conversation in regards to the text and theroughs and the way these healthy up and now that Katie’s carried out the ultimate illustrations, Igot an e-mail this morning earlier than I came right here about mild amendments tothe text now that those illustrations are in place. Katie: i am certain i’ll haveillustration edits as well, there are consistently bits and portions that you want tochange or transfer. Jen: it can be an ongoing factor in our lives for a long time. Katie: Yeah, it can be nice. Jen: Franklin getting as much as things over there. Katie: I meanit’s kind of like intervals of waiting and now not too much taking place andthen severe work, then wait a bit of extra.Jen: question quantity seven: will there be more Franklin books? Yes, so there may be presently Franklin’s Flying bookstore, thanks for modelling that, Katie, and it is in paperback, too, with a quote from Jacqueline Wilson on which we’re nonetheless not over; we’re veryexcited about it, we quite like that she likes Franklin.Then there may be the sequel, Franklin and Luna Go to the Moon, which is out in hardback the paperback will likely be popping out someday thissummer after which the hardback of the 0.33 e-book shall be popping out on the 3rdof September…I consider that was what we have been instructed. A while in September. Which is known as Franklin andLuna and the ebook of Fairy tales, and i do not know if we are able to say what it is aboutyet…However it’s Franklin’s birthday and there’s a book place concerned and a guide of fairy testimonies! I am sure the blurb will be availablesoon sure so we are going to be equipped to exhibit you the duvet and the blurb quickly, after which Idon’t understand, there probably more books one day but now we have each gotother initiatives that we wish to work on in the meantime. Next question: any person said"I bought Franklin in Italian, from Italy, will Franklin three be to be had in Italian?That’s lower than us and we’ll understand extra about translations after Bologna.Katie: optimistically it is going to, though. Jen: sure, with a bit of luck; it’s quite cool after we get parcels in differentlanguages. Katie: yes it is very interesting. Jen: Bologna publication fair is the tremendous kids’sBook fair and that is in is it March or April this yr? Katie: I think it is in April. Jen: So April, ok, so that is where Thames and Hudson will try to sell foreignrights for the third guide, so we will understand more after then but fingers crossed,optimistically. Query number 9, Katie do you in finding it hard working in traditionalmediums when a lot of the world now is digital? Katie: No, no longer hard however I suppose youjust adapt. I nonetheless supply all my work digitally and what I in most cases do isI hand paint it and that i sort of try this all in one variety of painting, and then Iscan it after which I edit it on Photoshop anyway as i’m fairly a messy painter,just to be certain the whole thing is kind of as i want it the digital file, and i sendthat off.Not too long ago i have been doing it quite in a different way with Thames andHudson; I send my originals to them and they’ve them photographedprofessionally which could be very pleasing Jen: Does that stress you out? The proposal of it getting lost in the submit? Katie: yes! But they ship a courier to my apartment, which is a individual both on a motorcycle or in a car and i hand it over.They professionally picture it and ship me the digital records again to edit andthey’re so much crisper, so it’s going to be exciting honestly seeing if the third book looks different due to the fact of that. Jen: query: in the event you had been a dragon, what would you hoard? Katie: Mugs!Jen: Yeah we both said that after we have been watching at these questions previous. Mugs, undoubtedly, one hundred percent. And quantity ten: how do you establish age variety for a booklet? That’s an interestingquestion. So Franklin is age ranged 3-7 and as a bookseller i’m now not a enormous fan of age ranging.I do realize the cause; it is to consultant the customer however it could possibly itcan be limiting, particularly in core grade and older, considering men and women havedifferent reading advantage for one-of-a-kind motives and you do not want todiscourage a baby from studying a guide considering that they feel it’s technicallyaged underneath them; that is not going to encourage them to read. However,anyway, how can we age variety? We do not. Katie: I’ve always left that as much as the publisher. Jen: Yeah, so they have got their own instructional materials so three to seven is particularly broadso three would be for the children who’re having it learn to them after which seven is kids probably studying it to themselves Katie: Have they ever asked you to take a wordout, pronouncing ‘we believe it’s too difficult/’that Jen: I consider probably sure but i will’tremember what it used to be I consider it could have been…Katie: You obtained creme brle in there! Jen: yes, I suppose it wascreme brle, it could have been creme brle. Within the first guide there’s atongue-in-cheek reference to creme brle um however my view is that thereshould be phrases that youngsters don’t realize now not loads, surely, given that then it’soff-putting, but it’s enjoyable for them to ask what that’s. Additionally children, even supposing theydon’t fully grasp anything, it’s…That may be funny.They believe it sounds amusing. I had a very candy email from a woman whose youngsters were reallyenthusiastic about creme brle so that they had had their first creme brle afterreading Franklin and so they desired to tell me that it used to be particularly yummy. Katie: that is rather lovely. Jen: Linking in with number 12: what criteria do you follow for modifying? First we getfeedback from our editor after which we get feedback from the whole enterprise; theynormally take it to a meeting and browse it to every body, after which we get feedbackfrom international rights. Katie: Yeah.Jen: Which will also be elaborate when you consider that that may be muchfurther along the line when everything is far more impregnable.Katie: it can be primary, although, considering that that is this sort of huge quantity of the revenue, the coalitions in differentcountries, so that you form of have to… If everybody’s announcing the identical thing, youhave to take it on board. Jen: yes, i do not believe we now have had a huge concern with that, though. Katie: No. Jen: There was once there was a [potential] main issue flagged with the 0.33 e-book beforeI’d written it: Franklin and Luna and the ebook of Fairy tales.They stated if I wasreferencing fairy stories would I make certain that those fairy stories were knownin different places when you consider that without doubt the fairy stories that we all know in Europe are veryEurocentric, in general to do with forests and so on however the way that the publication has workedis i’m no longer really, by means of name, referencing specified fairy testimonies.I’ve characters who individuals may comprehend from fairy memories however you don’thave to know who those humans are, so I had highlighted that that wouldn’t be aproblem. Additionally, to do with editing and normally to dowith the first query, which was once what are the first-class and most difficultparts of writing? Um, rhyming in Franklin.Notably in Franklin’s FlyingBookshop, the rhyming may be very off-kilter so there’s no specific rhyming patternand I feel my editor bought just a little go on account that she requested if I might ship overthe metric and the rhyming schemes that she could appreciate it, and that i saidwell, there is not one, i’m simply having a enjoyable time with it. So there are some halfrhymes in locations, there are some full rhymes, too,but I wanted it to be unpredictable because I believe kids actually enjoythat …More… That’s a assertion! Children like that in view that they can’tguess what’s going to occur. I think many times in rhyming for youngsters youcan get lost in the ‘dum de dum de dum’ and you get swept up in the beat of it, in order that thewords close to come second, and also you grow to be limiting yourself quite loads.Also, when Iwrite poetry for grownups I commonly write in free verse anyway. So after I sentover the first ebook and when I sent over the second ebook, and once I sent over the third guide, I had to highlight the entire rhymes and half of rhymes for the duration of the guide in special colours that she could see where they had been. So there’s a line inFranklin three which is "they to find themselves inside the woodland / it smells of paper, inkand porridge." And that’s a half rhyme however some folks could disagree that that wasa half of rhyme. And in addition some thing that I failed to know that we spoke aboutafterwards: some publishers don’t like books to rhymeat all, because of foreign translations.Franklin in international translations doesn’trhyme seeing that translators have made the option to translate it verbatim. Sure,so, Katie, do you may have any recommendation for illustrators who’re about to graduate? Katie: Um, do you no longer despair! I mean it can be obvious it’s quite special, everyone’s detached circumstances. I consider… Just preserve on working, it will probably feel like a fairly bigpush up to graduation and then kind of into the abyss of the true world, butjust hold making work is the major thing, considering that you are alwaysimproving and so so long as you are nonetheless making work you are still getting betterand try as much as that you could to get matters in front of individuals, which isreally rough, I think ordinarily the toughest phase but use of social media andall that variety of stuff and i suppose additionally mail outs. I’ve sent mail outs and theythey’ve by no means worked for me but they do for some folks, I mean lotsof publishers do seem at a publish that they get they usually would stick it up andlook at it months later and feel of you for a challenge, so simply keep attempting ismy biggest recommendation.Jen: i’ll throw in a piece of recommendation from Holly Exley (she’s on Youtube, appear her up!):create the work you need to be commissioned for. Katie: sure! Because there’snothing worse than doing anything you think individuals want and no longer enjoyingit and then being commissioned on the foundation of some thing that you don’t reallywant to be doing. That is in no way going to be excellent. Jen: query number 14 was how do you do hobbies considering there may be two of you? Katie: higher! Jen: yes, better! So Katie and that i do routine for bookshopswhen the booklet comes out for a restricted interval of time.We put someday apart to do pursuits and so we do this for a few months afterpublication on a weekend by and large and after which we do hobbies at fairs, too,um we tend to do more of these throughout the yr for the reason that festivalsare at various occasions. Katie: And schools. Jen: sure, colleges and we will do more of thosebecause the tuition work and the fairs are paid work; so when you doevents in bookshops you try this without cost within the hope that you just sell books, and thenevents at publication festivals and the universities are paid work um and we tend todo a narrative based exercise and then an illustration established pastime.What has been one ofyour favourite routine that we have finished? Katie: I quite appreciated the we did one with pop-up Jen: I used to be considering of that one, too. Katie: you realize where we did it within the Hackney Pirate house which is so cool and thenwe all do storytelling and the kids obtained relatively concerned after which we did… Isort of drew a colossal dragon headquartered on their ideas, tremendous, on the ground andand all of them form of support to decorate it that was once reallyfun Jen: And it’s nice to ask the youngsters so after they were doing the illustration, I wentback up onto the stage with the flip board and was once asking my questions aboutthe dragon. So Katie requested them in the event that they desired a large dragon, asmall dragon, long tail, small nose, whatever and they would choose. When they had been colouring it in I was asking ‘what do you wish to have your dragonto be known as?’ and they determined he must be called Johnny Rockstar and that i wasgoogling ‘Johnny Rockstar’ to see if it used to be a factor given that any person mentioned it with self assurance that I idea it have got to be a characterfrom tv but it wasn’t.They decided that he lived in house, his high-quality pal used to be aspider, that he loved doing the showering-up and taking part in football… And kidsjust give you the fine stuff! In order that used to be really enjoyable andwe’ve accomplished some really quality pursuits in schools as well. We did one for WorldBook Day final 12 months um and i just adore it generally at the end of hobbies where akid who you’re now not sure has been that engaged due to the fact that you realize…You’ve, youhave some children who quite want to answer questions and want to show that they are engaged; they are used to i guess performing good in special occasions. Thenyou get the quieter kids who you are now not lovely certain if they are having fun with itthat so much, but at the finish of a university seek advice from final 12 months there have been some of thosekids who, once we went to leave, just came and like hugged us tightly around likethe hips, so that’s fairly particularly beautiful. And the ultimate query iswhat is next? What’s next for you Katie? Katie: So, i’ve a photograph book I wrote andillustration that is due out in March, March the 1st with Flying Eye, called Monty and the Poodles. Jen: Do you have a duplicate right here? Katie: Shall I get it? Jen: sure. Katie: adequate, stay here. Jen: i’ll keep. Jen: Ooh, i admire how it’s vivid. Ilove that. Katie: is not it first-class? The bows are bright, too. Jen: i’m going to do a detailed-up so you’ll discover it.It’svery stunning. So this is your 0.33 that you have written and illustrated yourself. Katie: sure, it is about Monty who is a road dog who meets ginger who’s apoodle who likes to play soccer and get a bit of messy. Theywant to be acquaintances, they’ve bought quite a bit in usual however the world sees handiest theirdifferences, and so they have got to overcome some barriers. Jen: Go buy it. I’m going to link it in the description field. So you are doing that and then you definitely had been considering of doing a photo novel, possibly?Katie: yes it can be always on the "in the future" list but i have a while soit’d be really first-class fairly, great to try this Jen: She says shaking… Katie: since I feel isnice and terrifying, like a novel is. Jen: Yeah, i am doing a novel on the moment yay and i’ve a poetry assortment popping out in April known as The girl Aquarium, i’m going to insert a snapshot hereand i will hyperlink it down below if you need to head discover extra about that.Ohbefore we go i’m going to insert a bit of here which you guys could like tosee, in view that I at all times find this quite exciting, of Katie’s artwork for thesecond ebook and you have got some sketches as well? Yeah? Cool, so Iwill insert a clip right here so you can see some in the back of-the-scenes things. Katie: So this isall the equal scene. Originally we had been going to have a half of-web page of Luna in herroom reading with Neil Armstrong the tortoise and then I just we had it’s thefirst double page unfold. This was once the rough, after which I painted it one time in A3 and i felt find it irresistible was quality however itwasn’t great and it is smaller than the genuine print size of the ebook and Ithought truely for detail and everything I desired to try it a bitbigger, and i wasn’t delighted with all the colors, so then I did it once more at A2, which is how it turned out subsequently.So these scenes usually are not within the guide or are in it however should not really the equal in the final versions. In this one they are genuinely in their garden inthe booklet I think, yes, and that is the e-book membership that under no circumstances happened. Also i really like this. I know that youthink that that is messy but I fairly love where you’ll discover all of thecolours that you’ve got used, and this is additionally whatever thatisn’t in the text but is in the drawings that we didn’t speak about within the videobut we decided that the fireflies and the mice from the first publication and thebats can be in picture kind in the sequel although they may be no longer spoken aboutin the textual content, in order that folks who have read the first booklet can realize these things.Good enough, well we are going to go drink some extra tea from this very fancy tea,seem at this teapot! I love this! It can be still heat. I love this. Ok,we’re going to go drink some extra tea, I was once going to claim consume some extra doughnuts but I’vealready had two. Katie: Have a third! Jen: I are not able to, no, no. So if you have not checked outFranklin’s Flying bookstore and Franklin and Luna go to the Moon please do checkthem out so one can be powerful they’re to be had in I believe 11 or 12 differentlanguages i’ll go away links in the description box down under and that i neverknow methods to finish these matters. Katie: see you quickly! Jen: thanks very so much! X.